Category: Kelly Donlea

329. 12 Days of Recipes, Day 8: Best Cookie Exchange Recipes

 With cold, wet weather and the season’s first measurable snowfall expected today, here’s a fun indoor activity you can do alone or with your kids.  Forget about the fire, why not just heat up by the oven as you try your hand at some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes?  These are great for a cookie exchange, as gifts for neighbors or just for enjoying at home with your family.  And they’re the highlight today for Day 8 of our 12 Days of Recipes series here at 365Barrington.com.

For us, we have a little different criteria for the best cookie exchange recipes.  The cookies have to look festive.  They have to be easy enough to crank out six dozen in about 2 hours. The recipe has to be basic enough to triple with ease.  And, of course, we want to skip all fussy ingredients.

Candy-Dipped Chocolate Cutout Cookies
We think any basic cookie, such as oatmeal, sugar or chocolate cutout cookie dipped in melted white chocolate and then crushed candy cane pieces is a holiday best.  White chocolate and candy cane pieces are a perfect mouthful of holiday flavor, and with any good cookie base, they are a true crowd pleaser. Below is a recipe that does this with chocolate cutout cookies.  You can do something similar with crushed pistachios, m&m pieces or sprinkles in place of the candy canes……

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323. 12 Days of Recipes, Day 6: Mashed Potato Bar

 Here’s a great way to bring something unique to your holiday buffet or table.  A mashed potato bar can be loads of fun and it’s our featured item for Day 6 of our 12 Days of Recipes here at 365Barrington.com.

I recently helped throw a baby shower for my cousin who craved mashed potatoes throughout her pregnancy. We decided the mashed potato bar was the way to go for the menu, and it was a huge hit.

Favorite toppings were the French’s Fried Onions and Sundried Tomatoes.  Another idea I’ve seen at weddings is to serve both the scoops of mashed potato and the toppings in martini glasses.
Following is a list of other items we used or you could try. Just make a heaping amount of mashed potatoes, and place all toppings in serving bowls with spoons……

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307. Marketplace: A Taste of Italy in Barrington at Frantonio’s Deli & Café

 We have uncovered a delicious option for you if you’re looking for someone to cater your holiday party, your next corporate event or simply your weeknight dinner. It’s Frantonio’s Italian Deli, Café and Catering, a longstanding local restaurant that’s preparing to celebrate 20-years in business in 2013.  The popular lunch and dinner spot on Northwest Highway is owned by Franco and Patti Bruno and has recently increased their dining space, expanded their catering service and are now offering the option to have your order delivered to your doorstep.
Frantonio’s food and the man behind the menu, owner and chef Franco Bruno, are among Barrington’s best-kept secrets.
We are excited to welcome Frantonio’s as the most recent member to join the Barrington Online Marketplace here at 365Barrington.com because we feel privileged to share the offerings that await you just a short drive or a phone call away from home.  Franco recently took us behind-the-scenes at Frantonio’s to show us how he creates some of his most popular homemade foods.  We’ll share details and a generous helping of photos in a minute.  But first, in case you’re new to 365Barrington.com, here’s how our Marketplace works..
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At the beginning of each workweek, we introduce you to the latest local businesses, professionals & organizations to join our Barrington Online Marketplace by featuring them here at 365Barrington.com and via our weekly email newsletter. If you’d like to receive those emails, which will also include information about upcoming events in Barrington, just enter your email here and click “Submit”.
Fill out my online form.
You’ll find the new community resource at 365Barrington.com/Marketplace. To have your business, organization, home or event featured, visit 365Barrington.com/Advertise for more information or call Liz at 847-691-3150.
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Now back to Franco Bruno’s signature brand of convenient, delicious and homemade Italian dining at Frantonio’s in Barrington. The restaurant is a popular spot to grab a quick lunch or dinner in Barrington and their sandwich menu offers an exciting selection of classic Italian subs.  Deciding on one sandwich is the hardest part, with choices like the Buon Appetito, Calabrese, A La Delecto and the popular Magnifico sub, with layers of Prosciutto, homemade mozzarella, basil, tomato and Italian spices. They offer dozens of homemade salads, gourmet meats, pizzas and hot pasta dishes to choose from with friendly counter service and easy seating to ensure hot, homemade meals without a wait.
And, as of recently, they now offer home deliveries of food ordered by phone.  And their catering menu is also extremely popular, especially as the holidays approach….…

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270. Barrington EATS: Perk Up Your Pork Chops

 My company’s mission is to help anyone and everyone achieve more healthy cooking at home, with less stress time and money spent. At the simplest level, I get asked often for meal ideas you can just pop into the oven, with little prep time. There are so many, and they are not pre-packaged processed or ready-made foods. Trust me, with a little thinking ahead, this can be done with fresh ingredients right from your cabinets and refrigerator.  Pork chops are one of those things that make a great pop-in-the-oven dinner.

Some people fear baking pork chops because they tend to be dry. And they are if you don’t add other ingredients. But following are three simple ways to perfectly top pork chops for tasty tender results, each with just a few minutes prepping time……

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266. Barrington EATS: Lunch Lessons on “Tasty Tuesday”

 Have you heard about Tasty Tuesday? Wondering what’s going on that tastes so good? It’s the latest initiative in Barrington School District 220’s effort to better educate our students on healthy eating.  They’re turning lunchtime into a teaching opportunity by having fun with featured foods.
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Sodexho Food Service and our school PTOs are working to introduce one new healthy food to our students each month.
On the first Tuesday of the month, elementary school students will have an opportunity to sample a fruit or vegetable during lunch. Then, the same food item will be offered intermittently in the lunch menu for the remainder of the month. 
The district is also getting students involved on the middle and high school levels, where they’ll offer the fruit or veggie of the month and display posters about “Tasty Tuesday” in the cafeterias.  And, for early childhood students, a healthy snack of fruits or veggies will be offered twice a week.
The goal of the program is to provide elementary age students with increased opportunities to sample fruits and vegetables.  Why?  Because research shows that it takes five to twenty tastes before children begin to like a new food.
The district is also encouraging families to get involved by including the same fruit or vegetable in your menus at home throughout the month to increase opportunities for further taste testing.
October’s Tasty Tuesday food is Sweet Potatoes. You likely know that many studies point to the sweet potato as the number one healthiest vegetable.
One medium sweet potato contains only 130 calories, 2 grams of protein, less than one gram of fat, is low in sodium, contains a full day’s supply of vitamin C and provides 700% of the US RDA for Vitamin A. The antioxidants in the sweet potato may help to prevent heart disease and cancer, bolster the immune system and even slow aging by promoting good vision and healthy skin. Talk about a super food!

Below is one of my favorite, unique ways to use sweet potatoes, in the Sweet Potato Salad recipe from my 30 Spectacular Salads cookbook……

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261. Barrington Eats: Feast Your Eyes on Heinen’s Fall Foods

 The Prepared Foods section at Heinen’s provides extremely unique and exciting selections for you to take home, heat and eat. And while they have some good standard everyday fare such as Chicken Romano and roasted potatoes, they also offer higher-end options that are fabulous, well-thought-out and really above and beyond everyday dinner. But the best part is that Heinen’s reinvents their Prepared Foods menu for every season and is now offering a full selection of tailor-made fall options at their Barrington store.
We’re taking a look at Heinen’s Fall Foods today in Part Two of a three-part-series about some of the most exciting seasonal offerings to be explored at Barrington’s newest grocery store.  To learn more about the new fall offerings in their Prepared Foods counter, we spoke with one of the company’s corporate chefs and learned that they truly think before they create, taking into account the demographics of their eating audience.  They profiled our area and say they discovered that we like finer things but also happen to love good old-fashioned comfort food.
The results of their research equal creamy rich goodness paired with delicate seasonal ingredients and include items such as rich Pumpkin Bisque, delectable Truffle Macaroni and Cheese and multifaceted Risotto Cakes……

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257. Barrington EATS: Helping Hands & Harvest Vegetables

 It’s harvest time!  For many, that means a love of cooler weather and fun fall decorations. For me it has everything to do with being in the kitchen. I LOVE fall recipes because they are always about comfort food.  And these days, at the grocery stores and in our gardens, produce from the cucurbita family dominates the space.  This includes pumpkins, zucchini, and all kinds of fun squash, like these gathered by my son and his 4th grade classmates this week during a Roslyn Road School field trip.
The students picked squash for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, an organization that provides food for those in need.  What a great opportunity to teach our kids about local harvesting and helping others.
We filled a whole semi with squash and taught the kids a great lesson about community and sharing food.
These fall vegetables are not only festive to look at, they’re easy to grow, harvest and to decorate with.  Though many people do buy them for decorating, I often hear people say they’re stumped as to how to cook them. I agree they can be a bit fussy to work with, but they are well worth the effort in taste and health value if you give them a try. And don’t forget the wow-factor that’s possible with your presentation.

Below is a recipe for my favorite thing to make with Butternut Squash, Squash and Bacon Risotto, plus a fantastic recipe for Shepherd’s Pie Pumpkins in which you can serve your family dinner out of mini pumpkins. It’s one of my favorite Fall traditions and I hope it becomes one of yours too.…

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253. Barrington EATS: More Chick Peas, Please!

 Do you think you know my cooking style by now? My number one goal is to help you find cooking success in your own kitchen. And probably my number one recommendation for this is to shop Smart. Find ingredients that, by always having them on hand, enable you make a great meal any night of the year. And if, like this week’s topic, it has a long shelf life and costs under a $1, it finds itself at the top of the Smart ingredients list.

Chick peas, also known as Garbanzo beans, are an extremely healthy, Smart ingredient.  They have tons of iron and therefore make a great main course main ingredient……

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Luby Group Listings

$330,000
1,294
SQFT
113 S Cook Street Barrington, IL 60010
Commercial For Sale
- Active

Retail storefront in prime pedestrian location in downtown Barrington surrounded by Village shopping, restaurants, and steps to the Metra train station. Great opportunity to own a high visibility space, currently vacant, ready for you to move in and

$769,000
5
BEDS
4
TOTAL BATHS
1406 Dunheath Drive Inverness, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active Under Contract

Family is sure to enjoy ice skating, hockey, kayaking & fishing in a stocked lake in their own back yard. Over 4,200 square feet of living space, this home has dramatic volume entry. It offers a spacious formal living room + separate dining room and

New Listing - 6 days online
$769,800
5
BEDS
6
TOTAL BATHS
51 Whitetail Lane Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active Under Contract

Excellent value and great location - Close to Barrington Village and Metra! Situated on a private cul-de-sac with beautiful 1.4 acres. Enter through a sunny, open 2-story foyer with hardwood floors. Large entertainers kitchen opens to a comfortable f

New Listing - 2 weeks online
$160,000
0.52
ACRES
COOK
COUNTY
1100 Prairie Avenue Barrington, IL 60010
Land For Sale
- Active

Great opportunity to build your dream home on a half acre in Barrington right down the street from Baker Lake and Ron Beese Park. Located just over a mile south of downtown Barrington, this rare waterfront location is a few blocks away from award-wi

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